Now that my exhibition Fibre Reactive is open I thought I would explain some of the works over the next few weeks or so. And as I have been asked about the processes in the 12 pieces in the Out of the Print Box series, I thought I might start with these pieces.
Here again is the image of them in the exhibition. Each piece is 26cm x 35cm (10" x 14"), and worked on silk. They are each laced over a padded acid neutral card.
In May/June of this year I attended the Surface Design Association conference in Kansas City, MO. During that time I spent four days in a workshop with Kerr Grabowski titled Deconstructed Screen Printing (DSP), sometimes referred to as Breakdown Printing. I was already familiar with screen printing techniques, and with the DSP process, but thanks to Kerr, my knowledge and skills were considerably extended. Back in NZ I enthusiastically set about trying out some of the processes again. Whereas this may seem quite straight forward, there can often be quite a difference in what is done in a workshop, and what can be done afterwards. Equipment, products and, in particular, design input all seem to take a shift and almost everything needs to start again. No problem, I feel this allows for ones own slant on things to evolve.
I already had the idea of working 12 smaller pieces to be exhibited as a group in my exhibition, and the printing techniques seemed an ideal way to go. My commitment was 12 pieces in 12 weeks. That should be fun, and not too difficult. Yes, well, it was hard work and I got behind a couple of times but eventually did complete them all in the 12 weeks. I also need to confess that I started a total of 24 pieces, 12 of which I discarded somewhere along their journey, rejected, not good enough, or perhaps some disaster had occurred.
I used one silk screen frame which determined the overall size; used Procion MX dyes, Manutex (sodium alginate)and of course the fabrics were soaked in a Soda Ash solution. Occasionally I used some textile pigment/paint for that solid opaque outcome. There were a big variety of ways I did things, some I solved myself which lead me down different paths. Each piece had about four layers of applications; it was a matter of building on what had been achieved so far, until I felt each was finished.
I really like the print processes and now feel there is alot more to experiment with in the near future.